The waiting is the hardest part

The writing conventions of the Web find their way into mainstream news stories, for better or worse. For example, this New York Times story deploys the “wait for it” device:

CSX is, of course, one of the largest railroad companies in the nation. And given all the hubbub, you’d imagine the hedge fund was based in the Middle East. But the hedge fund is — wait for it — based in London.

I have never understood why readers should “wait for it.” It’s a feeble way to build drama or surprise into a story, and it’s become a cliche. Go ahead and deliver the information.

Others share my “wait for it” irritation.

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2 thoughts on “The waiting is the hardest part

  1. I feel the same way about “who just happens to be.” Either we’ll think the supposed coincidence is a meaningful one, or we won’t. Stop being coy and tell us.

  2. That’s not web language.

    That’s speech. Comedians, or emcees, etc.

    And it’s annoying, and it’s in the wrong medium.

    If only works if the person delivering it can control the wait. When you’re reading, there’s no waiting.

    I think that most of the really stupid idioms, construction, etc. are verbal techniques people are trying to write.

    Like the trick of stopping. after. every. word.

    of course, most of where they’re trying to write it IS on the web, but that’s not where it’s originating.

    It’s originating in conversation, the spoken language.

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